Thursday, 19 January 2017

Adapt Or Be Left Behind, APRA President Charges PR Practitioners on Technology, Consumerism

The President of African Public Relations Association (APRA) and Group Managing Director, CMC Connect Limited, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya has charged public relations practitioners in Africa to either adapt to the changing communication channels and tools of the profession or be left behind.

While delivered a presentation titled ”10 Big Things That Will Shape the Future of Public Relations in Nigeria” at the first edition of the monthly Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) PR Clinic held at the Westown Hotel, Lagos, the PR expert stated that the future of Public Relations profession will only blossom in Nigeria and across the world when practitioners brace up to the task of acquitting themselves with the trends that are currently shaping the industry globally.
Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya
He projected that the future of PR will be shaped by technology, consumerism, activism, media consumption pattern, global business, use of communication, culture and re-orientation, value determination, talent and specialization.

According to him, technology has changed virtually everything that we do today, citing an example of a driverless car manufactured by Tesla. He stated that for "PR practitioners to survive they must embrace technology to effectively compete amongst their peers both locally and internationally".

Badejo-Okusanya said consumerism (consumers’ consumption pattern) has changed drastically and therefore PR must understand the best strategy that triggers a change in consumer behavior in favour of clients’ brands.

He added that activism - advocacy for social and enviromental courses will only continue to raise and there is a need for PR practitioners to be prepare for it as they plan for the future. He cited the “Bring Back Our Girls” struggle in Nigeria as an advocacy that can be driven using Public Relations.

“Activism is the next thing that I feel will affect the future of Public Relations and here locally we have the Bring Back Our Girls struggle. PR should be involved in championing courses like this” he said.

"Researchers have shown that people no longer read physical newspapers rather they do so on their smartphones and other digital platforms. Therefore, PR practitioners must understand media consumption pattern."

"Global Business which encompasses global business practices, business intelligent and analysis, corporal governance and ethics, is another factor that will drive the business of Public Relations in the country", he said.

The APRA president noted out that the place of culture and re-orientation is another big issue that will shape the future of Public Relations practice. He challenged PR practitioners to take cognizance of the culture of people living around them as this will boost their performance on the job.

"Value determination is another big thing that will shape the practice of Public Relations in the country. This is so because the era of using the Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE) was over. AMEC is the new change we should embrace as practitioners".

"On talent, the world does not care about the designation of Public Relations professionals rather they care about those that can do the job perfectly. Competency is the key and one of the major big things that will shape the future of Public Relations and it will distinguish between those that are core professional from those that cannot do the job.

"I see specialization as part of what the future holds. PR practitioners will specialize in a particular area of Public Relations like agriculture, communications, tourism amongst others", he concluded.

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